Sorry for the radio silence…

My apologies if anyone has been wondering if I will ever post again… last month, this happened:

DSC_1062Both the blanket and the baby. ¬†ūüôā ¬†Of allll the yarn-related projects I’ve made, I didn’t have a single thing specifically for my own child, so I cranked this out in the last few weeks of pregnancy. ¬†Also, we are in the process of relocating from Beijing to DC to the Dominican Republic in the next month and a half, so things have been pretty cra-zy around here. ¬†Once I feel like a normal human being again (and get my yarn stash that is currently literally on the slow boat from China) I’ll have new patterns up! ¬†In the meantime, thank you for your patience and stay tuned. ¬†=D

 

Free Pattern: Knit Slouch Flowered Hat

Hi all! I apologize for being remiss in my blogging – I’ve had this pattern ready to go for weeks, but then suddenly allergies and hives attacked my body and I’ve been doped up on antihistamines and that’s just not the optimal blogging environment.

I have a confession: sometimes (well, a lot of times) I peruse commercial clothing sites and reverse engineer my favorite hat styles. ¬†I even have a list entitled “hat knockoffs”, with plenty of patterns to share with all of you. ¬†This one I found on Zappos – their yarn-based hat selection is ENDLESS! ¬†I’m sure you’ve seen this style before – it’s all over the place on Ravelry etc., but I liked the flower and it was straightforward, so here you go.¬†Free Pattern: Knit Slouch Flower Hat | Classy Crochet

(Ignore the fact that it’s on a male model head – makes for a weird photo prop but whatever.)

Before I continue, I must caveat:¬†this is a knit AND crochet project. ¬†Sorry folks – you will have to embrace your inner ambi-yarner for this one. ¬†Knowing how to do both really isn’t as evil as each side makes it seem. ¬†I think they’re all just slightly jealous so they make the other side seem inferior. ¬†I’m not going to attempt to teach knitters how to crochet or crocheters how to knit for this hat – it’s impossible to do through photos and that’s not the point of this post (or blog). Just please put up with me on this one. ¬†ūüôā

I¬†researched several grades of ‘chunky’ yarn for this hat. ¬†It appears that the hat itself is made of a *slightly* heavier weight than your typical “size 10 needles” (based on the stitch size and number of rows), which was the vast majority of what I had on hand, but I wrote it up for 1) what I had and 2) what seems to be more readily available.

Before you commit, here’s my version. ¬†Not quite as impressive on a round styrofoam ball but I swear it looks adorable on. ¬†Also, second caveat: this hat isn’t really “slouchy”, as in, it doesn’t pouf out the back. ¬†It fits nicely on the head. I just don’t know how else to describe the “in out” pattern… pancake? cupcake? not as cool, right?

Free Pattern: Knit Slouch Flower Hat | Classy Crochet

MATERIALS

I used Plymouth Encore Chunky for the hat body in an indiscriminate light blue (actually, it was the free skein I pilfered from the awesome free skein giveaway of yore) and size 10 needles. ¬†The flower was made with Vanna’s Choice (white) with a random wooden button from Joann’s.

PATTERN

With size 10 16″ circular needles, cast on 64 stitches. ¬†Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist your stitches. ¬†*Hint: sometimes I have issues getting the stitches to stretch around to join on the cast on round. ¬†Usually I just knit the first row and by the time I get to the end, it’s now stretchy enough to join, and then I use the tail to sew up the bottom. It doesn’t look much different than the torture of streeeeeetching it out to join in the first round.

Rows 1-10: k2, p2 in rib (or for about 2″)

Rows 11-14: purl all the way around

Rows 15-18: knit all the way around

Rows 19-22: purl all the way around

Rows 23-26: knit all the way around

Rows 27-30: purl all the way around

Begin decrease: *k7, k2 tog*, repeat around

*k6, k2tog*, rep around (at some point you will have to switch to DPNs)

Continue decreasing by one stitch every round (k5, k2tog, k4, k2tog, etc.) until k1, k2tog. ¬†Then k2tog on last round. ¬†Cut off a tail to draw through remaining stitches and fasten off. It’s a bit of a quick decrease so you have a very obvious spiral across the crown of the hat.

FLOWER

Time for the flower. ¬†It’s pretty much my basic crochet flower pattern, with a few additional petals. ¬†There are some tips on that page on keeping the flower flat, how to best sew onto a hat, etc. ¬†I won’t repeat them here but feel free to take a look. I used pink here, cause white on white just doesn’t work.

Free Pattern: Knit Slouch Flower Hat | Classy Crochet

With worsted weight yarn and H (or I, whatever you prefer) hook, ch4 and sl st to form a loop.  Ch6, dc into loop.  *Ch4, dc into loop*, repeat 3 times. You should have six posts at this point. Sl st to the third ch of your original ch6. You should have a wheel-esque looking contraption, above.

Free Pattern: Knit Slouch Flower Hat | Classy Crochet

Sl st into the first ‘spoke’. Into each ‘spoke’ of the wheel: *ch1, hdc, 2 dc, hdc, ch1, sl st*. Sl st into next spoke, and repeat.

Free Pattern: Knit Slouch Flower Hat | Classy Crochet

Turn flower over. ¬†This is the trickiest step, not because it’s difficult at all, but simply because you’re going to be creating eight petals out of a six petal flower. ¬†Basically, you will: *ch4,¬†insert hook, sl st into the back of the petal* and repeat until you have a total of eight loops. ¬†I don’t have any magical methods of making this even – I ended up doing it a few times and ripping it out until the loops were evenly spaced across the back of the flower. ¬†They don’t *have* to be perfectly even if you don’t care – it is a flower, after all, not a dodecahedron.

Free Pattern: Knit Slouch Flower Hat | Classy Crochet

Turn flower back to the front again. ¬†Repeat the petal row, except increase the number of dc:¬†Into each ‘spoke’ of the wheel: *ch1, hdc, 4 dc, hdc, ch1, sl st*. Sl st into next spoke, and repeat. ¬†You can do 5 dc or whatever you want that will make your flower as big and pretty as you’d like. ¬†Sometimes I increase my hook size for the second row to make the petals bigger as well. ¬†When you’re done, fasten off and leave a long tail to sew flower onto hat.

Sew flower onto hat, sew button to middle of flower, put hat on head, and feel very proud of yourself for completing an ambi-yarning project.  YES!!

Free Pattern: Knit Slouch Flower Hat | Classy Crochet

Knitting Project: Au Naturale Knit Baby Booties

I am so excited for today’s project share with all of you! ¬†I first saw these ages ago on – you guessed it – Pinterest, and immediately fell in lurv. ¬†They didn’t have a name, pattern or any sort of copyright, so immediately I busted out my reverse engineering skills.

I love natural materials: wood, fiber, leather, etc. ¬†This project combines ALL THREE. ¬†It’s really straightforward… it modifies your basic mary-jane bootie pattern, and totally elevates the street value with just teeny additions of luxurious leather and wood. Once you show these babies off, your friends will universally acknowledge you as empress of the crafting universe. ¬†I’d also promise that you’ll also physically turn into Shakira’s doppleganger, but seeing as I’m still waiting for my hips to stop telling lies, I can’t guarantee that last bit.

Knitting Project: Au Naturale Knit Baby Booties | Classy Crochet

You will need the following:

  • DK yarn (preferably something including wool, just so you can feel uber natural, like your entire project came freshly sheared off of a humble sheep, hand scavenged from your local forest, and um, nobly sacrificed from whatever animal your leather belongs to…)
  • This pattern
  • Size 5 (or 6) knitting needles
  • Teeny tiny scraps of leather for the straps
  • Wood buttons (or you can use felt like the original link)
  • Yarn needle to sew up bootie seams
  • Something sharp to poke holes in your leather (embroidery needle or small awl)
  • Sharp scissors to cut said leather

I wasn’t planning on using the exact same color scheme as the original source, but when I went to Joann’s to find some appropriate DK yarn, they just so happened to have Paton’s DK superwash wool, in taupe, on clearance, for $.97 a skein. ¬†I mean, 97 cents, okay. ¬†Honestly, I would have never chosen taupe myself since by itself it’s kind of a weird yucky color, but it works perfectly here.

Quick insert of The Leather Saga:  (bear with me, it has an awesome ending.)

I first saw these shoes, oh, about 15 weeks ago (says Pinterest). The reason why it’s taken me so long to get these made is that I didn’t have the leather. ¬†I was in China without access to big box craft stores where I knew I could buy a patch for $3. ¬†Of course, I could probably have gone on another all-day adventure to find some, but my desire to procure a 1/2″x 2″ scrap simply to make some baby booties was not that high. ¬†Once I even walked by a leather stall in a random shopping area above a deserted Jinkelong, thought ooh, I should go back and beg a scrap sometime, but that didn’t happen either.

Then I came to the U.S. In my first few days I went to Michaels in search of leather. ¬†Their aisle marked “leather goods and tools” only contained felt, pom poms, and googly eyes. ¬†Fail, Michaels. ¬†I’ll look somewhere else. ¬†Turns out their aisles were simply mis-labeled, but fortuitous for me, because…

That very afternoon, I went home to my parents’ house, and whaddya know… there was a large pile of leather scraps sitting on their living room table. ¬†You know, the kind with metal grommets that probably once belonged to a furniture store as their color samples. ¬†It turns out a friend of theirs had bought them for pennies at a garage sale, never figured out a use for them, she bu de (there’s that word again – couldn’t bear to) throw them out, so she gave them to my mom when SHE moved back to China, and there they sat, because my own mom was she bu de to throw them away either.

Anyway, story summary: my mom had literally two pounds of free leather scraps, was never planning on using them, but was never planning on throwing them away either. ¬†So now… THEY’RE MINE!! And they were ALL FREEEEE! ¬†And when I say “leather scraps”, I mean… LEATHER SCRAPS:

Knitting Project: Au Naturale Knit Baby Booties | Classy Crochet

1) How many booties could I make with this??? 2) I started a new Pinterest board entitled “Leather Scrap Projects” and I need your input please. ¬†ūüôā

Okay, end of story, back to project.

Start knitting your booties using this pattern. ¬†The pattern says size 6 needles will net 6-12 month booties. I used size 5 and mine were about 3.5″ long, which was what I was going for. ¬†STOP knitting after row 16. ¬†Bind off and sew up booties. ¬†They’ll basically be little shoes.

Obtain leather scrap by whatever means necessary.  You should be able to just use sharp scissors to cut it, no need for special tools here.

Knitting Project: Au Naturale Knit Baby Booties | Classy CrochetCut two long skinny strips for straps. ¬†This took a bit of trial and error for me. ¬†Make sure they’re thick enough to poke at least one hole to sew onto your shoe – I wanted it thick enough for two holes, so mine are pretty thick.

Second obstacle: poking holes into said leather. ¬†After many days of searching stores for little teeny leather hole punchers or something of the sort, it turns out my mom also had a very random mini-awl that she picked up on the streets of Taiwan for like 60 cents. ¬†You can probably just use a sharp needle and a thimble (so you don’t skewer yourself). ¬†I wanted to use yarn for my sewing so I needed a bigger hole, but a needle will work just fine with regular embroidery thread.

Poke holes into leather on both sides. ¬†I wanted four, but my leather wasn’t big enough, so I just poked two holes and did one stitch on each end. ¬†Using yarn scraps or embroidery thread, sew one side onto the shoe, sew the other side through at least one (or all) of your buttonholes. ¬†Step back, admire your work, and wait for the compliments to come showering in!

Happy knitting!

Knitting Project: Au Naturale Knit Baby Booties | Classy Crochet

Free Pattern: Knit Fisherman Ribbed Hipster Hat

One day (like, back in December-when-it-was-still-cold one day), as I was trawling across Pinterest like I do, I came across this pin:

The caption of the pin read: “DIY Incredible Knitted Mustard Hat – Super Easy and Awesome”. ¬†Ooh! ¬†I thought. ¬†Super easy awesome free knitted hat pattern! ¬†So I clicked it. ¬†The link took me here: a fashion design blog written in French, with beautiful designs, gorgeous handmade products for sale, and nary a knitting pattern in sight.

So, being the masochist that I am, I decided to figure out the pattern by myself. ¬†It couldn’t be that hard, right? ¬†Just some sort of rib with a wide wale, and a huge pompom on top?

As my not-so-subtle leading question would imply, with any pattern I attempt to replicate, the project took me many, many, many evenings of researching knitted rib patterns, figuring out how they work in the round, how to decrease them, the appropriate gauge, etc etc etc. ¬†However, after many dribbling tears, I think I’ve finally got this hat (more or less) in my adult head size.

The trick to this hat is a stitch known loosely as “brioche”, or “fisherman rib”, or “prime rib”… honestly, I have no idea what the technical term is, because each of those stitches has a few different variations. ¬†Plus, the skills behind each stitch varied excessively widely from one source to the next. ¬†There were all sorts of skippings, slippings, knitting fronts and backs, etc. ¬†But, the one I found to be the easiest was the most straightforward: k1, k1 below, repeat. ¬†The end. ¬†The result is a very stretchy, giving fabric.

(I think *technically* the stitch in the pictured hat above is a “brioche“, vs. the stitch I’m using is “fisherman rib“, or a “brioche rib“, but whatever, my version is easy and it gets the point across, yes?)

DSC_0369 DSC_0367

(Please excuse my ghetto-fabulous styrofoam head purchased for $2.99 at a thrift shop. ¬†It suffered major structural damange in the move to China. ¬†At least the hat covers the giant dent in the top of the head…)

I’ve used my ever-favorite Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick N Quick yarn, and size 13/15 16″ circular needles for this project. To replicate the beautiful smooth design of the original photo, I assume you can use a nice fancy thick single ply roving alpaca wool. ¬†One of these days I’ll actually pony up and buy some.

To knit this hat, you will need to know the following:

  • k1 below
  • p1 below
  • k2tog
  • ssk

K1 below and p1 below sound waaay scarier than they really are.  Here is a picture tutorial on how to do both from the ever-dependable Purl Bee.  Here is a great video for k1 below, and here is a great video for p1 below.  Read/watch through them, be ready to try them out.  Ready? Okay!

Cast on 42 stitches with size 13 needles (16″ circular).  Join to work in the round and place marker.

Rows 1-5: k1, p1 rib

Row 6: switch to size 15 needles.  K2tog, p1 below, repeat around. (28 st left)

NOTE 1: On this row, when you p1 below, you will be purling into a knit stitch every other purl due to the stitch groupings of 3.  Do not be alarmed.  Purl into the knit stitch (BELOW, drop that top loop off!) and continue with faith.  You will also have what seems to be now a ridiculously small hat.  Again, faith, my friends, and carry on!

Row 7: k1 below (into the k2tog stitch), p1 as normal into the p1 below stitch from previous row.  Repeat around.

NOTE 2: this row is going to look like a hot mess. You’re going to wonder if you’re doing it right, because it looks really ugly; there will be weird lumps and loops everywhere. ¬†Keep that faith going – it’ll be about four rows of ribbing before the hat pattern starts to look ‘right’. ¬†I promise it looks better on your head.

A quick photo tutorial on “k1 below into k2tog stitch”:

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Here, I’ve just purled normally, and am ready to k1 below into the k2tog from previous row

2-DSC_0355

I’ve circled the two loops of the k2tog. Insert your needle through both loops to k1 below.

3-DSC_0356

Insert your needle into the aforementioned loops…

4-DSC_0357

Knit and draw your loop through…

5-DSC_0358

Now the scariest part: lift the top loop off of the needle and drop it. Yes, drop it!

6-DSC_0359

I like to give the back of the loop a bit of a tug to loosen it up. It will feel like you’re intentionally dropping a stitch and pulling it apart, but you’re NOT. Have faith! ¬†This extra yarn is what creates the nice stretchy fabric between ribs.

Row 8: k1 as normal (into k1 below stitch), p1 below.  Repeat around.

Row 9: k1 below, p1 as normal (into p1 below stitch).  Repeat around.

Rows 10 and on: repeat rows 8 and 9 until hat measures about 6.5-7″ in length. ¬†(This was about 12 rows of fisherman rib for me.) ¬†Make sense? ¬†You’ll be alternating k1/p1below and k1below/p1 every row.

7-DSC_0360

This is what your hat will look like after several rows. It looks way too small, but it will magically stretch. A lot.

Decrease sequence: (transfer onto DPNs at this point)

Row 1-3: k1, p1 in a regular rib around. (Keep these rows loose otherwise they bunch up from the fisherman rib)

Row 4: k2tog, repeat to end of round.

Row 5: knit

Row 6: ssk, repeat to end of round.  Draw tight, fasten off.

Make extremely large pompom.  (As always, I tout my extra large pompom maker from Clover.) You’ll have two tails from tying it together; use these to thread into hat, sew a few stitches to secure, and then tie a square knot.  Secure some more, and fasten off.  The very top of the hat will look a little off from the fisherman rib.  The pompom should cover up any weirdness.

Squash hat on head and proceed to feel very hipster.  Hooray for hipster hats!

DSC_0374 DSC_0373

FINAL NOTE: you can probably make this hat easily using a real brioche stitch and you will probably end up with better results.  Be sure to let me know if you do.

Follow along with the project gallery on Ravelry!

“In the round”… sweet, sweet knitting love

So, I’ve been knitting for a year now. ¬†I’ve learned a *lot* of things. ¬†I still have a million light years to go. ¬†There is just SO MUCH terminology out there! ¬†It’s literally learning a new language as well as a whole world of knowledge that is completely non-existent outside the yarn microcosm, and therefore nothing you’d ever just pick up by osmosis, like watching people play poker in the movies and knowing that if it were ever you, definitely don’t bleed from your eye when you’re bluffing. ¬†That will always get you killed.

For example, I have yet to try anything beyond a long tail cast-on. ¬†They all have these weird, foreign, fancy sounding names and it’s just too much for me. ¬†I recently found a¬†website¬†that listed no less than eleven ways. ¬†ELEVEN. ¬†The titles included such gems as “German twisted”, “Turkish”, “Italian”, “Channel Island”, “Estonian”… can these Europeans just get their act together and agree on one way to do it? ¬†With crochet, you tie a slip knot, and start. ¬†The end.

Anyhoo, with the weirdness that comes with knitting, I’ve also learned a few key terms that totally make my knitting day:

  1. As the title of this blog implies, knitting in the round. ¬†I still haven’t quite figured out the science of how knitting in the round = stockinette while knitting flat = knit and purl, and my rows are always, ALWAYS lumpy and leave weird garter gaps in the back. ¬†But oh, if you can make anything in the round, it’s just so much faster and easier.
  2. Seamless: knitting in the round naturally leads to seamless items. ¬†It’s not so much that I hate seaming (it’s actually really satisfying to stitch the two pieces together and watch your ugly curled edges magically disappear), but there is just something about knitting something flat, and then knowing you still have to wash it, block it, pull those stray yarns out of the drain like unclogging hair (gag), dry it, and THEN seam it that just makes the work so unfulfilling.
  3. Sleeveless: Okay, I have a caveat on knitting in the round. ¬†The one thing I hate more than washing/drying/seaming/undoing stitches/picking out rows/picking up dropped stitches, is knitting on DPNs. ¬†As I mentioned before, it’s just hazardous, and I still haven’t figured out the ladders. ¬†So, anything sans sleeves = fabulous.

Here are two recent examples of seamless + sleeves = sweet, sweet knitting love. ¬†Sorry, future knitting recipients – you’d better all be having girls since sleeveless tubes of clothing don’t *really* lend to boys.

DSC_0027 DSC_0028 tunic1 tunic3

Also, to that end, here are some of my queued projects on Ravelry if you want to experience your own knitting nirvana. (Click on photo to open pattern in new window.)

Photo

heartALT

 

Welcome New Nephew!

The first grandchild on either my husband’s side or mine was born a few weeks ago. ¬†You can envision the excitement this stirred in my husband’s family… imagine something like unto the Lion King when Simba is reverently held up to the sky. ¬†His brother and wife were waiting to find out if it was a boy or girl, so I had a fun challenge trying to come up with gender-neutral items. ¬†In the end I’m lucky it turned out to be a boy, cause apparently “gender neutral” means “boy clothing that doesn’t directly involve sports teams.” ¬†But I had a feeling it was going to be a boy all along… hence the Packers mittens. ¬†ūüôā

Welcome to the world, New Nephew!

sweater1 sweater3 DSC_1140

Fancy Schmancy Stashbusters…

We all have them. ¬†Treasured in boxes, stored on shelves, lovingly collected, often taken out and admired, never used. ¬†I’m talking about our yarn stash – and not just those random leftover balls of yarn from prior projects, but those precious one-time purchases from random boutique yarn shops, or travels across the country/world, or colorways that you bought thinking “this is AWESOME, I’m sure I can find the perfect project for purple/green/mauve/mulberry yarn!” ¬†And of course, since you only bought one (because it was probably $25 and it’s not like you need two balls of purplegreenmauve yarn), and said ball of $25 yarn is, I’m sure, in a special dye lot, there you have it, that now lone ball that can never be multiplied, never turned into anything larger than a small scarflet or hat or MAYBE a pair of gloves. ¬†It just sits on the shelf, enticing you with its possibilities, begging to be used but somehow begging more to be left alone and simply admired for the things that might be, but never are. ¬†That’s how it is with my Malabrigo merino yarn, purchased in my home town in upstate New York on a quick three day leave from Beijing. ¬†It’s so soft, so beautiful, so variegated, that I’m pretty sure I’ll always just keep it, a lone hank of wonderful yarn that I occasionally pick up and rub. ¬†I know, I’m weird, but I have a feeling you yarners out there will understand.

1-DSC_1169

There’s a word in Chinese: ¬†she bu de (ść®šłćŚĺó), that best translates to “hate to do/hate to part with” that perfectly sums up my attitude towards my precious stash. ¬†I am she bu de to use it up and commit it to something solid. ¬†Sometimes I prefer to just look at the un-knit/un-crocheted yarn and simply consider the possibilities of ‘what if’?

However, today I’m here to not just wax poetic on really expensive fancy yarn, but also to submit my personal collection (across Pinterest, Ravelry, and Etsy) of potential she bu de yarn busters. ¬†These all fast, almost all free, and yarn-budget-friendly, with simple stitches that showcase said yarn, and hopefully are pretty enough to deserve that skein you’ve been holding onto since 1998. ¬†I’ve done some of them, others I’m still holding on to for future she bu de yarn purchases. ¬†One can never have too many cowls… right?

(Click on picture to go to pattern link)

If you’ve REALLY got a lot of time, colorways, and desire to make sooper rainbow mitts, here you go.

I love pretty much anything from the Purl Bee, and their yarn is always gorgeous.  Plus, free patterns!

If you’ve got just a bit of extra luxurious soft yarn, whip up this hat for a baby.

First cowl of the day!  I love the wooden buttons.

So maybe this doesn’t necessarily need luxury yarn, but omg c’mon, this pattern is awesome.

This is one of the most popular patterns on Ravelry, and for good reason – it’s hard to find a very manly yet cool standard hat that any guy will be willing to wear. ¬†Ask my husband.

I’ve had this one saved for ages, and even bought eight skeins of Bernat roving to make it. ¬†I just got distracted by the forty other projects in the time it took the yarn to come in the mail. ¬†#toomuchyarn

For your super bulky yarn, this one whips up in a jiffy and is gorgeous with the repeating leaf pattern.

So. Pretty!!

If you’ve got a bit of extra yarn, this baby jacket is wonderful. ¬†It’s classic and works well for both boys and girls, and can be embellished to the nines with buttons or flowers or trim.

I could go on all day, but for the sake of your tired eyes I’ll stop. ¬†What are some of your favorite patterns for fancy yarn??

Shake your pom pom, shake your pom pom…

A few months ago I discovered this fantastic pattern for a quick and sporty toddler/child hat. ¬†I totally luuuurved it – it was fast, it was easy, it was my first time knitting stripes, the boy factor was most definitely there, and the color combinations (read: sports team related) are endless. ¬†It was a great way to use smallish amounts of my ever-increasing Lion Brand Thick n Quick collection, PLUS two Christmasses ago I had gotten a whole collection of pom pom makers that I’d never actually used. ¬†Win!

Pom Pom Knit Hat Pattern | Classy Crochet

When my husband saw these, he immediately wanted one in the University of Michigan colors. ¬†Apparently, Lion Brand’s dark navy blue and citron yellow don’t cut it. ¬†For a guy who can’t tell the difference between purple and orange on any given day, he suddenly becomes an expert on the nuances between “maize” and “mustard” when it comes to his beloved football team. ¬†In an effort to find the right color yarn, in the right weight and texture, I had to expand my yarn choices to Lion Brand Homespun, a similar weight yarn in a shinier acrylic that I wasn’t a huge fan of (it’s not terribly elastic), but darn it if the colors weren’t more accurate for his precious Wolverines.

Anyway, this is by no means a “look what I created!” pattern, because I very obviously fashioned it off of Fiberflux, but here is what I did for a (very) large men’s head. ¬†My own head is also ginormous (23″) and my husband’s is 24″. ¬†The hat fit my head fine, I just had to add a few rows for his head.

Cast on 44 stitches with size 13 needles (16″ circular) in main color (MC)

Rows 1-5: k2, p2 rib

Row 6: switch to size 15 needles.

Knit two rows in MC, two rows in second color (CC), alternate two rows MC/two rows CC for three rows of CC total

Continue knitting in MC until hat measures 6″/6.5″ (for 23″ or 24″ head) – this ended up being about 16 stockinette rows total for my husband, probably about 14 rows for myself. ¬†Begin decrease sequence. ¬†If your own head is a much more normal 21″-22″, cast on 40 stitches instead of 44. ¬†I’d still knit 14 rows though.

Decrease sequence:

Row 1: *k2tog, k3, repeat from * to end of round.

Row 2: knit

Row 3: *k2tog, k2, repeat from * to end of round.

Row 4: switch to dpns, knit

Row 5: *k2tog, k1, repeat from * to end of round.

Row 6: knit

Row 7: k2tog around.

Row 8: k2tog around, fasten off.

Make extremely large pompom. ¬†You’ll have two tails from tying it together; use these to thread into hat, sew a few stitches to secure, and then tie a square knot. ¬†Secure some more, and fasten off.

So. ¬†Pom poms. ¬†Although as previously stated, I had four pompom makers, sadly the largest one still came woefully short regarding adequate fluffy balls (yes, snicker). ¬†Therefore, I had to go online and order an additional one, the¬†largest pom pom maker I could find. ¬†It look something like five weeks to get here, by which time said husband’s head was getting pretty durn chilly. ¬†Glad it finally came though, he loves his hat and wears it everywhere!

Pom Pom Knit Hat Pattern | Classy Crochet

Please ignore the fact that the first stripe is obviously three rows up from the other two, not two rows as previously stated in the pattern. ¬†I was watching Wrath of the Titans for like the eightieth time (hey, U.S. television is limited in China), was distracted by the Medusa scene, lost count, and by the time I realized I was off I was waaaaay too lazy to rip it back down and fix it. ¬†Husband didn’t worry at all though, apparently men don’t care about miscounted rows.

GO BLUE!

Wittle Baby Cable Hat

I found this adorable cable baby hat pattern a few months ago. ¬†Ravelry and Pinterest are my new addictions – any time I find myself with a spare minute/hour, I’m on one or the other. ¬†This hat caught my eye because the photo was a super cute baby (see???) and the pattern seemed relatively simple enough for my novice knitting skills. ¬†You can easily access it here.

I got really excited when I discovered this pattern used fingering weight yarn. ¬†Not that I was actually excited to knit with what basically ends up being skewers and string, but that I had recently spent an inordinate amount of money buying almost every colorway of Lion Brand Cone Wool yarn – a “100% virgin wool” that came in something like 2000 yards for $20. ¬†It was a steal in my book – until it came in the mail and I saw just exactly how thin ‘fingering’ weight yarn is. ¬†Whoops.

Anyway, since I have no plans to spend my days knitting socks (because I am just not that good, nor am I dedicated enough to spend entire weeks of my life to items of clothing that will just get stinky and have to be washed after every wear), this pattern was interesting to me also because it promised to ‘grow’ with the baby. ¬†What does that mean? ¬†Well dear readers, let me introduce to you a Quick Lesson on Baby Heads.

Having never given birth myself, I always just assumed that baby heads grew at a proportional rate of the rest of the body – comes out tiny (usually about 12 inches around), a little bit the first year, a little more the second year, etc. ¬†I had measured enough adult heads to figure the average to be aboooout 22 inches. ¬†Imagine my surprise, then, when four years ago when I first started making hats, my coworker wanted one for her 12 month old, and measured her little skull to be 19 inches around. ¬†19???? ¬†We were both boggled. ¬†Surely it’s not possible for such a tiny creature to have a head that’s 85% of an adult. ¬†No WONDER they have such a hard time rolling over and lifting that noggin up, learning how to stand, walk, etc. ¬†That is some serious topweight these little tykes are carrying around.

(Another fun trick: have you ever lifted your arms above your head?  Yes you, lift them up and see how far they reach. The top of your head comes to about your elbows, right?  Now try it on a baby.  Go ahead.  Now chortle with amusement.)

Anyhoo, given the approximate EIGHT inches in diameter that a baby’s head grows in the first year, I end up having to be really specific about my hat patterns regarding how old the baby will be/season of the year/whether it’ll fit, etc. ¬†Depending on the pattern, I sometimes end up having to make four sizes for a baby’s first year. ¬†Here is where knitting has the upper hand – it’s sooper stretchy and therefore very forgiving.

When I *finally* finished the hat, I was pleasantly surprised. ¬†It grew just like it promised it would, looked cute on a small head AND didn’t look ridiculous on a bigger one! ¬†So excited was I, that I promptly made two more. ¬†Well, by promptly I mean, slowly over the course of two weeks, but whatevs. ¬†Here they are!

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See? ¬†Amazingly stretchy just as promised! ¬†The green head size is about a 0-3 month old. ¬†The Hat of Many Colors is on a 12 month old. ¬†It’s magic!!

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